Saturday, February 7, 2015

WB keen on development of Balochistan

Saleem Shahid 

QUETTA: The World Bank has showed interest in providing financial support for the uplift of different sectors in Balochistan including irrigation, girls’ education, agriculture and livestock.

A delegation of World Bank headed by its country director Rachid Benmessaoud called on Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattah separately on Friday.

“Balochistan will be playing a pivotal role in the development of the region due to its important role in economic corridor,” Massud said, adding that the bank’s financial support would cause promotion of education and generate employment opportunities in the province.

“Balochistan is not a poor province but its people are poor. The economic corridor will open new ways of trade on Balochistan and bright future of Pakistan and the region is linked with this province,” he said.

Dr Baloch told the World Bank delegation that 80 per cent population of Balochistan is dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods while underground water level has declined at alarming level.

“Due to lack of dams, rainwater drained out into sea. Agriculture in Balochistan is facing a severe crisis,” he said, adding that the government and QESCO have also been providing subsidy on 30,000 tubewells.

He said that 70pc of precious mines and minerals went to waste due to old and traditional mining methods. “Some 2.3 million children are not enrolled in Balochistan,” the CM added.

He said that his government wants to shift agriculture tubewells on solar energy. He further said that mining, fisheries and other sectors could get a boost if Balochsitan government is given financial aid.

Giving a briefing to the World Bank delegation, Chattah shared the government’s policies aimed at bringing improvement in different sectors.

Published in Dawn February 7th , 2015

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